My friend Kwin Kramer lives in Washington, DC and generously took me out to a relatively new Belgian restaurant in South East (on 8th street) called "Belga". While I could go into a rant about how food on the hill sucks, instead I'll rave about Belga.
The food is excellent, the owner is amiable and obviously enjoys running the restaurant and the beers are fabulous. I'd drank some Belgian ales before, but not triple fermented Belgian ales. Oh. My. Goodness. The flavor of the tripels that I've tried have been full, spicy and slightly nutty. The alcohol content is high, but they don't get that rancid taste of certain barley wines that I've had in the US. I enjoy pouring them myself, as I like to stir up the precipitated yeast and drink them with the last half-glass of the beer.
I recently discovered that one of my corner delis in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY USA sells an "Affligem" Abbey tripel. I first had this beer at Belga, and was delighted to know I can find it in my neighborhood.
Kwin and I are working on some code that glues together Mason and Comma (more on that later), which means periodic trips to Washington for white-board/pair programming sessions. This all means Belgian tripels, Flemmish stew and fabulous mussel pots for me!
-- Douglas Hunter